What I Want PR and Marketing Professionals To Know

business crowd Since quite a number of people who swing by my blog are either in marketing or public relations, I wanted to address you specifically for a moment. I’m writing to you as part of this new version of media, one blogger not paid to blog, not working for a newspaper or magazine outlet, not especially beholden to the traditions that have come before. I’m writing to you as a human being who likes people, community, innovation, and business, not to mention art, creativity, play, and many other things. I want to tell you a few things for you to consider.


  1. Social media isn’t that scary, but it is different than what you’ve been doing. For one thing, it’s far more messy, and requires a lot more hand-holding.
  2. You have SO MUCH to gain from figuring out some of these tools and the way we’re using them. And one difference from typical businesses: most of us social media types are very willing to share what we know. Just ask.
  3. I love every one of you who makes an effort to get to know me before you have to market something to me or pitch me. It works out so much better when you and I have talked in some non-pitch way beforehand. And it only takes a few minutes every now and again to say hi.
  4. I’m tired of adjectives. Your new website isn’t innovative. The word doesn’t mean anything to me any more. Further, let me decide if it’s innovative.
  5. Bloggers aren’t all the same. I’m definitely not the same as Michael Arrington at TechCrunch. I’m not the same as Seth Godin. I’m not the same as most bloggers. I’m just doing my own thing, and they’re doing theirs. It pays to understand which of us you’re trying to reach for what, and reading the last 10 things we posted, just to get a sense of whether we’re the right kind of person to write about your thing.
  6. Blogging isn’t the same as releasing marketing materials.
  7. Putting up commercials on YouTube isn’t videoblogging.
  8. Be human first on social platforms like Twitter or Facebook. I know Lionel Menchaca as a human and as a Dell employee. You can do the same.
  9. Understanding Technorati and Google Blogsearch and Summize goes a long way towards helping you listen and hear what people are saying about you, your client, etc.
  10. You’re doing great things here and there. Sometimes, you’ll get praise for it. Other times, it might be overlooked. It’s still great.
  11. Great things are erased quickly when you mess up.
  12. If you mess up, say sorry fast. Acknowledge that you made a mistake, and then act on what you can do better next time.
  13. There’s lots you can teach we media maker types, too. I learn lots from you every day. I do this with phone calls, and by reading what you’re sending me. It’s a two way street.

There. That’s what I wanted to tell you.


What do you want to tell me?

The Social Media 100 is a project by Chris Brogan dedicated to writing 100 useful blog posts in a row about the tools, techniques, and strategies behind using social media for your business, your organization, or your own personal interests. Swing by [chrisbrogan.com] for more posts in the series, and if you have topic ideas, feel free to share them, as this is a group project, and your opinion matters.

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  • http://doughaslam.com Anonymous

    Great post as usual Chris, and a ton of great comments while I was off not being a PR person for a day.

    I could easily say that you are spouting a ton of common sense, but you say it in your own personal way, and any points we heard before bear repeating- repeatedly.

    A quick thought from me?

    1. The relationship/human thing= a new focus on things we should have been doing all along. R.I.P. mail meres for press releases (I hope).

    2. Everything happens in public now– this speaks to your “screwing up” and “apologizing” fast scenarios. The online world is becoming one gi-normous first draft which, aside from feeding some of my worst habits, is creating an interesting hybrid (hooray I didn’t say “mashup”) of collaboration and transparency (ok, points off for that word).

    Carry on, Mr. Brogan.

  • http://doughaslam.com Anonymous

    Great post as usual Chris, and a ton of great comments while I was off not being a PR person for a day.

    I could easily say that you are spouting a ton of common sense, but you say it in your own personal way, and any points we heard before bear repeating- repeatedly.

    A quick thought from me?

    1. The relationship/human thing= a new focus on things we should have been doing all along. R.I.P. mail meres for press releases (I hope).

    2. Everything happens in public now– this speaks to your “screwing up” and “apologizing” fast scenarios. The online world is becoming one gi-normous first draft which, aside from feeding some of my worst habits, is creating an interesting hybrid (hooray I didn’t say “mashup”) of collaboration and transparency (ok, points off for that word).

    Carry on, Mr. Brogan.

  • http://doughaslam.com Doug Haslam

    Great post as usual Chris, and a ton of great comments while I was off not being a PR person for a day.

    I could easily say that you are spouting a ton of common sense, but you say it in your own personal way, and any points we heard before bear repeating- repeatedly.

    A quick thought from me?

    1. The relationship/human thing= a new focus on things we should have been doing all along. R.I.P. mail meres for press releases (I hope).

    2. Everything happens in public now– this speaks to your “screwing up” and “apologizing” fast scenarios. The online world is becoming one gi-normous first draft which, aside from feeding some of my worst habits, is creating an interesting hybrid (hooray I didn’t say “mashup”) of collaboration and transparency (ok, points off for that word).

    Carry on, Mr. Brogan.

  • http://elizaw.wordpress.com Eliza Wyatt

    Useful advice no matter what your background, if you have a project to promote and use any sort of internet networking.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://elizaw.wordpress.com Eliza Wyatt

    Useful advice no matter what your background, if you have a project to promote and use any sort of internet networking.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://elizaw.wordpress.com Eliza Wyatt

    Useful advice no matter what your background, if you have a project to promote and use any sort of internet networking.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.ronntorossian.com Rich L.

    These are all good tips for people in PR and Marketing. Good Companies follow these guidelines for consistency in work and responses. I have read about only a few companies who did this well. One is 5W Public Relations that really understands the importance of Social Media. The President of 5WPR, Ronn Torossian even writes about this in his blog mentioning things like the political milestones of Barack Obama’s campaign launching a website devoted entirely to discrediting so-called smears.

  • http://www.ronntorossian.com Rich L.

    These are all good tips for people in PR and Marketing. Good Companies follow these guidelines for consistency in work and responses. I have read about only a few companies who did this well. One is 5W Public Relations that really understands the importance of Social Media. The President of 5WPR, Ronn Torossian even writes about this in his blog mentioning things like the political milestones of Barack Obama’s campaign launching a website devoted entirely to discrediting so-called smears.

  • http://www.ronntorossian.com Rich L.

    These are all good tips for people in PR and Marketing. Good Companies follow these guidelines for consistency in work and responses. I have read about only a few companies who did this well. One is 5W Public Relations that really understands the importance of Social Media. The President of 5WPR, Ronn Torossian even writes about this in his blog mentioning things like the political milestones of Barack Obama’s campaign launching a website devoted entirely to discrediting so-called smears.

  • http://www.zingaustralia.com.au Sean

    Great post…and I completely agree with your points.

    Having started at Zing PR as an online Pr account manager over a year ago I’ve seen a massive change in clients attitudes to social media.

    My initial job was to show clients the potential of social media (and that is wasn’t scary, only different) and after some cool successes,I think that part is done.

    Now, I find more often I find myself having to hold the client back a little when it comes to social media strategies. What might have worked for one campaign and one client may not be suitable for theirs…and sometimes this becomes the harder sell.

    Now that I think clients are coming round to the idea and embracing social media, I think it’s more important then ever for agencies and marketing professionals to be discerning and considered about your SMO approach.

    A simple cut and paste job will not cut it and can often result in lesser than expected returns for the client.

    Keep things focused, relevant, targeted and meaningful as sometimes, a newly created Facebook group about your ‘Awesome’ new drain cleaner just isn’t appropriate.

  • http://www.zingaustralia.com.au Sean

    Great post…and I completely agree with your points.

    Having started at Zing PR as an online Pr account manager over a year ago I’ve seen a massive change in clients attitudes to social media.

    My initial job was to show clients the potential of social media (and that is wasn’t scary, only different) and after some cool successes,I think that part is done.

    Now, I find more often I find myself having to hold the client back a little when it comes to social media strategies. What might have worked for one campaign and one client may not be suitable for theirs…and sometimes this becomes the harder sell.

    Now that I think clients are coming round to the idea and embracing social media, I think it’s more important then ever for agencies and marketing professionals to be discerning and considered about your SMO approach.

    A simple cut and paste job will not cut it and can often result in lesser than expected returns for the client.

    Keep things focused, relevant, targeted and meaningful as sometimes, a newly created Facebook group about your ‘Awesome’ new drain cleaner just isn’t appropriate.

  • http://www.zingaustralia.com.au Sean

    Great post…and I completely agree with your points.

    Having started at Zing PR as an online Pr account manager over a year ago I’ve seen a massive change in clients attitudes to social media.

    My initial job was to show clients the potential of social media (and that is wasn’t scary, only different) and after some cool successes,I think that part is done.

    Now, I find more often I find myself having to hold the client back a little when it comes to social media strategies. What might have worked for one campaign and one client may not be suitable for theirs…and sometimes this becomes the harder sell.

    Now that I think clients are coming round to the idea and embracing social media, I think it’s more important then ever for agencies and marketing professionals to be discerning and considered about your SMO approach.

    A simple cut and paste job will not cut it and can often result in lesser than expected returns for the client.

    Keep things focused, relevant, targeted and meaningful as sometimes, a newly created Facebook group about your ‘Awesome’ new drain cleaner just isn’t appropriate.

  • Amelia

    Great points! I agree with the comments that stress the importance of educating clients as well. Last summer, I had a marketing internship with a start-up company whose leadership asked me if we could “do something viral.” I really felt like my role was two-fold: half creating positive change in their marketing efforts, and half educating the leadership on the “mystery” of marketing, especially new media marketing. It’s not a mystery, it’s a series of well-planned tactics that, over time, take on meaning in the minds of the consumers. Social media is a powerful tool toward that end.

  • Amelia

    Great points! I agree with the comments that stress the importance of educating clients as well. Last summer, I had a marketing internship with a start-up company whose leadership asked me if we could “do something viral.” I really felt like my role was two-fold: half creating positive change in their marketing efforts, and half educating the leadership on the “mystery” of marketing, especially new media marketing. It’s not a mystery, it’s a series of well-planned tactics that, over time, take on meaning in the minds of the consumers. Social media is a powerful tool toward that end.

  • Amelia

    Great points! I agree with the comments that stress the importance of educating clients as well. Last summer, I had a marketing internship with a start-up company whose leadership asked me if we could “do something viral.” I really felt like my role was two-fold: half creating positive change in their marketing efforts, and half educating the leadership on the “mystery” of marketing, especially new media marketing. It’s not a mystery, it’s a series of well-planned tactics that, over time, take on meaning in the minds of the consumers. Social media is a powerful tool toward that end.

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  • http://www.morgansullivan.com John P. Kreiss

    This article offers great advice. Social media networking is a great relationship building tool and worthwhile for those not afraid to embrace it. As a recruiter for Construction and Real Estate, we’ve been able to build relationships with a lot of talented people in these industries through this medium.

    John P. Kreiss
    President & CEO
    MorganSullivan, Inc.
    jpkreiss@morgansullivan.com
    http://www.morgansullivan.com

  • http://www.morgansullivan.com John P. Kreiss

    This article offers great advice. Social media networking is a great relationship building tool and worthwhile for those not afraid to embrace it. As a recruiter for Construction and Real Estate, we’ve been able to build relationships with a lot of talented people in these industries through this medium.

    John P. Kreiss
    President & CEO
    MorganSullivan, Inc.
    jpkreiss@morgansullivan.com
    http://www.morgansullivan.com

  • http://www.morgansullivan.com John P. Kreiss

    This article offers great advice. Social media networking is a great relationship building tool and worthwhile for those not afraid to embrace it. As a recruiter for Construction and Real Estate, we’ve been able to build relationships with a lot of talented people in these industries through this medium.

    John P. Kreiss
    President & CEO
    MorganSullivan, Inc.
    jpkreiss@morgansullivan.com
    http://www.morgansullivan.com

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  • danieloseiboateng

    continue with the good work

  • joe

    Marketing / PR people are truly the scum of the earth.

    I think at this point *everyone* (and I do mean everyone, from your
    dumbest redneck, to your most materialistic soccer mom) has developed
    a “marketing bullshit detector” that screens out their retarded
    noises, and yet they continue to make said noises at us, seemingly
    oblivious to the fact that they're insulting the very people that
    they're trying to win over to their viewpoint. Everyone is aware of
    it but them, or so it seems. Why don't they get it? What the f*** is
    wrong with them?

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  • Meg

    great blog post. I'm actually in PR and I believe you are bang on with this post. :)

    Meg

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  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    # You have SO MUCH to gain from figuring out some of these tools and the way we’re using them. And one difference from typical businesses: most of us social media types are very willing to share what we know. Just ask.
    # I love every one of you who makes an effort to get to know me before you have to market something to me or pitch me. It works out so much better when you and I have talked in some non-pitch way beforehand. And it only takes a few minutes every now and again to say hi.

  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    # You have SO MUCH to gain from figuring out some of these tools and the way we’re using them. And one difference from typical businesses: most of us social media types are very willing to share what we know. Just ask.
    # I love every one of you who makes an effort to get to know me before you have to market something to me or pitch me. It works out so much better when you and I have talked in some non-pitch way beforehand. And it only takes a few minutes every now and again to say hi.

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  • Sarosh Waiz

    Chris, this post is awesome and spot on! Being a blogger as well as a marketer myself, I can perfectly relate to what you listed down. A lot of marketers I know, are still trying to do the same and sometimes it gets frustrating. 

    Lols @ Youtube = Videoblogging